Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 09:25 AM EST

Nexus 5 Camera Bug That Causes Battery Drain Will Be Fixed With Next Update Promises Google, When Will It Be Released?

Mar 10, 2014 05:12 PM EDT

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Owners of the Nexus 5 may have noticed a troubling battery drain bug related to the camera following the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. According to the problem tracker the battery drain bug was relate to high CPU usage by the Nexus 5 camera. To check to see if you suffer from the battery drain bug go to SettingsàBattery and see if there is something called mm-q-camera-daemon that is draining a significant portion of your battery life. If so then you have the problem.

Google has promised to roll out a maintenance update to owners of the Nexus 5, likely Android 4.4.3 but they don’t have a release date for it yet. The update is apparently related to video service apps like Skype. There’s a bug which triggers the camera even when not in use. Currently the only fixes for this until the Android 4.4.3 update bug fix comes out is to restart your Nexus 5 or uninstall Skype. The restart is only temporary and other apps that make use of the camera could also trigger the bug. N

Google has advised owners of other devices to report the bug to their manufactures, since it impacts those who have the Android 4.4.2 update. Google is able to update the Nexus and Google Play devices but owners of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and other phones that have gotten the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update should let the company’s know so they can roll out an update themselves, presumably after Google provides the source code. We’ve attached Google’s acknowledgement of the bug below:

Thanks, everyone, for reporting about this problem.

We believe we have fixes for the current high CPU reports on N5 due to mm-qcamera-daemon, and they will be included in the next maintenance update. At this point, we don't need more reports of the problem, with some exceptions I'll detail below.

More details:

We've had scattered reports of persistent high CPU usage of mm-qcamera-daemon since our last maintenance update, and based on those, found a number of bugs that were then fixed.

More recently, there's been a significant increase in the frequency of reported problems. These may be related to a recent update to Skype, which seems to access the camera regularly from its background service in some way that triggers this bug (note, we don't currently believe there's a bug in Skype itself). Investigating this, we've identified a few additional fixes that we hope resolve this issue for good.  However, since the high CPU usage is an intermittent problem, we're continuing to test our fixes to verify the problems are gone.

Unfortunately, I can't provide an estimate for when the maintenance update will be ready, due to all the testing we need to do for this and other fixes. Until then, rebooting the phone is the only way to stop the high CPU usage/lack of camera function once it starts. 

Uninstalling Skype may substantially reduce the likelihood of this bug appearing, but I realize Skype is a very important application for many people.  Other camera-using applications may trigger this bug as well, but that's been relatively rare. Most applications also do not access the camera when not in the foreground, so they will only trigger issues when actively used.

I'd also like to note that instances of high CPU use of mm-qcamera-daemon on other devices besides the N5 need to be reported to their manufacturers - while those devices also use a Qualcomm chip for their camera processing (and thus have a mm-qcamera-daemon process), each has differences in their software and issues with them do not necessarily mean the N5 has the same problem, and vice versa.

If you are seeing high CPU use of mm-qcamera-daemon, and you have not used the camera at all, or installed an application like Skype that has a background service that accesses the camera (typically, applications that provide video chat may do this), we would like to know about it.

Otherwise, for Skype and other typical camera applications, we believe we have fixes identified, and you don't need to add more information to this bug - remember, any note added here will send updates to dozens of people.

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